You are on page 1of 5


Roslyn Bernstein Class: T/TH 11:10 AM- 12:25 PM Classroom: VC 7-160 Office Hours: Tuesday (by appointment) Office: 7th floor-270 VC Phone: 646-312-3930 CLASS BLOG: Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond

AUG 29

Introductory Class. What is a Feature? Distinguishing hard news stories from features? Discussion of reading and writing assignments, Writing NY and Bi-Weekly Blog Postings/Comments Class Focus: The Survival/Revival of a Neighborhood About Places and About Faces Reading Assignment for 9/3: Here is New York by E. B. White Here is New York by E. B. White—Class Discussion No Class Ingredients of a Feature Story Writing Assignment for 9/12: 250 Words on Neighborhood of Your Choice



Discussion of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Research Workshop Professor Stephen Francoeur Writing Assignments: (Post on Class Blog) 1. Neighborhood Faces Query (250 Words) 9/19 (Describe the neighborhood person you wish to profile. Possibilities include: cop on the beat, local teacher, local activist, newspaper editor, long-time resident, etc.) 2. Backgrounder on Your Neighborhood—500-750 Words. (A Resource/Not a Paper*) Due September 26 Include information on: a) Demographics b) Schools c) Local Businesses d) Real Estate e) *Conflicts/hot button issues Please make sure that you include relevant web resource links Writing Assignment for 9/24: First Draft Neighborhood Faces Story on Disk


Discussion of Neighborhood Faces Query Reading: ―Amanda Burden Wants to Remake New York. She Has 19 Months Left.‖ (Blog Post # 1 on Burden: Commentary/Critique/Review of Story) SEPT 24 SEPT 26 OCT 1 Discussion of Neighborhood Faces Query Discussion of Neighborhood Backgrounders In-class workshop Neighborhood Faces Story (flash drive) Writing Assignment for 10/3: Final Neighborhood Faces Story Reading Assignment for 10/3: Joseph Mitchell: Joe Gould’s Secret OCT 3 Reading Assignment: Joe Gould’s Secret Writing Assignments for 10/3 1. Neighborhood Places: Small Business Story Proposal (250 words) Be prepared to give class a little talk on the range of businesses in the neighborhood. Discussion of Small Business Proposal (Proposals must include a list of sources). Reading Assignment: =all


Writing Assignment for 10/10: Reporting Workshop for Small Business Stories Bring in source list, notes, ideas, and if possible your lead. OCT 10. Reporting Workshop First Draft Small Business Story Reading Assignment: gewanted=all

OCT 15 OCT 17

NO CLASS/FOLLOW MONDAY SCHEDULE Workshop: Small Business Story Final Draft due: Oct. 18 Reading Assignment: A. J. Liebling (excerpt) Writing Assignment for 10/30:

Detailed notes on Community Services in Neighborhood OCT 22 Final Draft Small Business Story Due Presentations Continued Discussion: Small Business Story Presentations Writing Assignment: Neighborhood Community Services Proposal for 10/31. OCT 29 Gish Jen Tiger Writing Discussion in class Evening: Harman Reading by Gish Jen Reception at 5 PM; Reading at 5:45 PM Newman Conference Center/Library Building/ 750 Writing Assignment for Feature/Profile: Gish Jen (500-750 words) OCT 31 Discussion: Neighborhood Community Services Proposals Reading Assignment: all

OCT 24

Writing Assignment: First Draft Community Service Story 11/5. NOV 5 Writing Workshop: Community Services Stories Continued Reading: Sheri Fink (ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine, finalist Pulitzer Prize Feature Writing/Investigative Reporting: Final Community Services Stories Due: 11/7. Writing Assignment: Conflict Story Proposals and Outline 11/12. Second Draft Edit: Community Service Stories Blog Work Discussion: Conflict Story Proposals + Outlines Multi-media for Conflict Stories Discussion Continued: Conflict Story Proposals + Outlines Multi-media for Conflict Stories Reading Assignment: 3

NOV 7 NOV 12

NOV 14


NOV 19

Blog Work Conflict Story Sources and Questions (Minimum of 3 sources with five questions for each source) Reading Assignment:

NOV 21 Nov 26

Writing Workshop: Leads/Nut Graf for Conflict Story

Blog Work Leads/Nut Graf for Conflict Stories Reading: “A Muslim Leader in Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds,” The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing 2007 NOV 28 DEC 3 DEC 5 DEC 10 DEC 12 NO CLASSES/THANKSGIVING Writing Workshop: First Draft Conflict Story Editing the Conflict Story. (1,000 to 1,200 words) Presentations: Conflict Story Presentations: Conflict Story

-----------------------------------------------------------------Required Reading (Newspapers/Books): New York Region (NYT) Here is New York by E. B. White Joe Gould’s Secret by Joseph Mitchell Recommended Reading: Sunday Styles Section, NYT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD FOCUS: This workshop course in FEATURE ARTICLE WRITING will focus on neighborhoods. During the semester, each of you will become an expert on your neighborhood by researching its demographics, attending local community board meetings, and, through interviewing, building a source list of contact people who may be community leaders, politicians, teachers, newspaper reporters, business owners, and/or residents—single or married, native-born or immigrant, young or old—all of whom contribute to the vibrancy of the community. What makes the neighborhood tick? What are its chief assets? What are its biggest problems? Who is in power? Who is left out? And, most important of all, how do neighborhoods survive/thrive in a period of economic

turmoil? Good feature writing is based on a solid command of structure, insightful reporting, research, observation, a feel for style and narrative, an appreciation (and grounding) in the writing of other fine writers, and significant re-writing. We will hone our feature writing skills through a number of in-class writing and editing assignments as well as several short featurewriting assignments (500 to 800 words maximum), one longer assignment (1000 to 1,200 words) and a thorough rewrite. Your skilled reporting, original research, and lively writing will yield feature stories that no one else has written before—little known stories about people, places and issues in neighborhoods that deserve to be told. In addition to formal written assignments, the class will publish a neighborhood BLOG, which you will post bi-weekly as a neighborhood reporter. The goal here is to share community coverage and, at the same time, give you practice writing for social media. For your first blog post, please comment on May 18, 2012 NYT story, ―Amanda Burden Wants to Remake New York. She Has 19 Months Left.‖

Classroom Guidelines: 1. ALL assignments are due on time; no late papers or assignments will be accepted unless agreed upon with me before the due date. You must meet all deadlines. 2. All rewrites are due one week from the date you receive them. 3. All papers must be double-spaced with name and e-mail address at the top. 4. Read NYT daily. Recommended: City section on Sunday. 5. Class session: Class begins at 11:10 AM, unless otherwise discussed. Much of our class activity will involve class discussion about your blog posts and in-class writing; therefore, timely attendance and participation are important. Two late arrivals equal one absence. Baruch attendance guidelines will be followed 6. Know the college’s policy on plagiarism. Go to the website: Evidence of plagiarism of any kind will result in sanctions that range from an F on the assignment to a failing grade in the course. A report of suspected academic dishonesty will be sent to the office of the Dean of Students. Any sources consulted MUST be attributed to those sources – websites, articles, books, etc., Ignorance of the policy is no excuse. 7. Grading and other class policies: Breakdown of your final grade: Neighborhood Research* (10 %); Class participation and blog posts (20 %); Feature Stories: (50); and final feature/conflict story (20 %).